Taking stock of B-Town’s divorces post media reports of Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan’s divorce that came through over this weekend, you will notice that the rate of divorces in Tinseltown is far less than what it would ideally seem from the outside world.
Raj Kapoor was enamoured with Nargis, and Dev Anand was infatuated with Zeenat Aman; enough to make it seem like both these evergreen superstars would end their marriages. However, when it came to the crunch, neither did.
Marks must be given to their spouses Krishna Kapoor and Kalpana Kartik (Mona Anand) for maintaining the home and hearth of these men whose high-profile link-ups did rock the boat to a degree. But in the end, it was the ‘sanctity’ of marriage that won.
Raj Kapoor’s oldest-born Randhir’s own marriage hit rock-bottom a decade and a half after he married Babita in 1971. In fact, this one was a bit of a shock because Dabboo actually wooed Babita for years before tying the knot. And it did seem like their match was made in heaven. However, after Kareena’s birth in September 1980, this couple saw little happiness.
But the strange bit is that even after 40 years, this couple only remains estranged not divorced. As Randhir has often said, “Babita and I didn’t divorce because neither of us had plans to remarry. Whatever I have today belongs to her and my two daughters — Karisma and Kareena. Since there is no inclination to marry or sire children, I never felt the need to get officially divorced.” His daughter Karisma Kapoor, who ruled the roost in the 90s, though, ended her decade long marriage with businessman husband Sanjay Kapur and is today locked in a custody battle with him.
Two other celebrity couples — Gulzar and Raakhee as well as Rajesh Khanna and Dimple, who married in 1973, also separated from their spouses. But, in both cases, there was no divorce talk because none of them showed signs of wanting to marry again.
In fact, Dimple stayed put by her terminally-ill husband’s side in the last phase of his life; and Gulzar sahab and Raakhee bond frequently over fish curry even today. They are both crazy about daughter Meghna and their grandson Samay. Their own marriage certificate may have gathered dust; but their friendship can still warm the cockles of your heart.
It can be rightly said that just like in our mainstream cinema, most inhabitants of Bollywood too subscribe to the “we-wish-to-stay-with-one-another till death do us part.” Unless the compulsions of a second marriage beckon, superstars in incompatible situations would rather let their relationships stay dormant than seek the divorce route.
In fact, one of the most high-profile divorces that sent shockwaves in the Hindi film industry was that of MP-politician Vinod Khanna who divorced his first wife Geetanjali Taleyarkhan (mother of Akshaye and Rahul Khanna) in 1985. Mithun Chakraborty’s divorce from Helena Luke when he was in 20s went unnoticed.
And then the paparazzi went berserk when Aamir Khan and his childhood sweetheart Reena Datta ended their 15-year-odd marriage in 2002. Of course, both parties ensured it was done in a very dignified fashion. And today, Aamir and Reena share a healthy relationship as they continue to co-parent their children Junaid and Ira.
Saif Ali Khan who married Amrita Singh, almost a decade his senior, divorced her in 2004. Here again, full marks to Amrita who didn’t attempt to wash dirty linen in public and instead concentrated on giving full attention to her children Sarah and Ibrahim.
And if the latest from insiders is to be believed; Hrithik and Sussanne will always remain civil for the sake of their children around whom their world revolves.
Stars who divorced
Vinod Khanna and Geetanjali Taleyarkhan (married in 1971, divorced in 1985)
Aamir Khan and Reena Datta (married on April 18, 1986, divorced in December 2002)
Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh (married in October 1991, divorced in 2004)
Karisma Kapoor and Sanjay Kapur (married on September 29, 2003, divorced in June 2014)
Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan (married on December 20, 2000, divorced on November 1, 2014)
Rakhee and Gulzar (married on May 15, 1973, separated in 1975)
Rakesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia (married in March 1973, separated in 1984)
Randhir Kapoor and Babita (married on November 6, 1971, separated in 1987)